When it comes to using virtual reality (VR), and 360 degree video in particular, one of the trends that seems to be developing is using it to create a public service announcement, or PSA. Not that long ago on Life In 360° we spent a couple of days looking over some examples of arguably such videos that were made by Network Rail and made to encourage railway awareness and safety.
Today’s video comes from global drinks manufacturer Diageo, which has produced a new first-person experience called Decisions: Party’s Over that focuses on the dangers and consequences of binge drinking. It’s not the first time that Diageo have used immersive technology as a way to warn people off unnecessarily large consumption of alcohol. As they put it in the press release for the experience Diageo want to encourage people to “drink better, not more”. Party’s Over is a follow up to a similar campaign (Decisions) that was launched in 2016 and is unusual in that Diageo actually announced this video was coming back in September last year.
In this video, partly produced by Jaunt – a name no doubt very familiar to regular readers of VRFocus – users are able to directly interact with the story, with it taking on a different tone depending on what you are seeing through the eyes of each character as the amount of alcohol consumed increases through the night. The view switches between the viewpoints of four people: Steph, who throws a going away party for friend Greg – but his drinking goes to extremes. There’s also other consequences shown, such as Jasmine, who is sexually assaulted by a fellow partygoer – Luke.
So please note, there is graphic content you may find upsetting.
“We’re excited to be a part of Decisions: Party’s Over, the latest instalment in Diageo’s virtual reality film series and offer our technology to bring the content to life,” Explained Jaunt’s Co-Head of Studio, Tom Vance. “Binge drinking can have very serious consequences, and by combining our tools with Diageo’s creative vision, we are able to create an experience that will leave a lasting impact on consumers as they navigate decisions in their lives around drinking responsibly.”
“We’re continuing to use virtual reality technology for social responsibility initiatives because the immersive experience brings to life the terrifying realities and dangers associated with binge drinking,” added James Thompson, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer of Diageo North America. “While drunk driving and underage drinking are at historic lows, binge drinking rates have remained stable. Diageo has long been recognized as an industry leader in responsible drinking programming, and our hope is to build on our previous successes with virtual reality to reach our audience on an emotional level and prevent future detrimental impaired decisions associated with binge drinking.”
The interactive version can be found on the Jaunt app, however a non-interactive version can be found by visiting bingedrinkingvr.com. Some, but not all of the videos (at the time of writing) are also on YouTube. You can find Steph’s viewpoint of proceedings below.